Responses of the endangered orchid Phaius australis to mining-related water table fluctuations

Freeman, A., Schumacher, J., Gillespie, M., Gravina, A., Doley, D. and Smith, P. (2011) Responses of the endangered orchid Phaius australis to mining-related water table fluctuations. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 117 405-417.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Freeman, A.
Schumacher, J.
Gillespie, M.
Gravina, A.
Doley, D.
Smith, P.
Title Responses of the endangered orchid Phaius australis to mining-related water table fluctuations
Formatted title
Responses of the endangered orchid Phaius australis to mining-related water table fluctuations
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0080-469X
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 117
Start page 405
End page 417
Total pages 13
Place of publication St. Lucia, QLD, Australia
Publisher Royal Society of Queensland
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Phaius australis F. Muell. (swamp orchid) is a large, endangered terrestrial orchid typically associated with coastal swamps in north-eastern Australia, including North Stradbroke Island. Populations of P. australis were studied at three locations along the toe of a steep sand escarpment adjoining Eighteen Mile Swamp, where recent water table elevations had varied, and on a flat peaty substrate at a freshwater stream outflow into the swamp. Orchids occurred on a strip usually less than 4 m wide associated with water table depths between 0.05 and 0.5 m. Leaves were up to 1.5 m long and flowering stems up to 2 m tall. Larger plants were more likely to produce an inflorescence but pseudo bulbs remaining from previous seasons did not appear to act as major reserves for inflorescence production by the current season shoot. Orchid plant size was not related to tree canopy cover, ground cover or proximity to the swamp edge. Changes in water table elevation associated with sand mining operations were not reflected in detectable differences in mature shoot heights or pseudo bulb numbers. The frequency of inflorescence production was higher in populations with rising or high water tables. Small plants were absent from the sector of the escarpment that experienced an increase in water table elevation of about 0.5 m during the study. It was concluded that the transitory elevation of ground water levels due to sand mining did not have a deleterious or lasting effect on the vigour of orchid plants or the structure of orchid populations. Browsing, probably by a native herbivore, of up to 90 per cent of inflorescences in the areas of greatest flowering frequency may represent a major issue for seed production in this species.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation Publications
Official 2012 Collection
 
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Created: Thu, 08 Mar 2012, 14:21:47 EST by Ms Amanda Gravina on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation